At Work in Nicosia

Work Usage in Nicosia

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Working Hours in Cyprus

Average working hours in Cyprus vary by sector but generally in retail industries and union-regulated industries the standard work time is 38 hours per week over a 5-day schedule. Weekly working hours cannot exceed 48 hours on average, including overtime.  The average is calculated using weekly working time over a period of four months.

If your employer asks you to work more than 48 hours in a given week, you have the right to refuse the request without it affecting your employment status.

For working days longer than 6 hours, you are entitled to a 15-minute rest break during which you may leave your work station. During the week, you are guaranteed a minimum of a 24-hour rest period, and at least 11 consecutive hours in a 24-hour period.

Wages in Cyprus

The minimum monthly wage in Cyprus is 924 Euros, and must be paid in legal tender. Payment can be weekly or monthly, depending on the terms agreed upon in your initial employment agreement. In certain jobs, the minimum wage could possibly be lower for the first six months at 870 Euros a month, but will be raised to 924 Euros as soon as six months of work is completed with the same employer.

Part of your wages are also allowed to be paid “in kind” in certain industries and occupations, as long as they appropriately benefit you and your family, are valued reasonably, and you as the employee have consented to such payment.

However, the standard throughout Cyprus is generally wages paid monthly, in cash or by check during working hours.

Deductions and Additional Pay

Deductions are generally not allowed from wages in Cyprus, except for those contributed towards a pension scheme or medical care fund, court-ordered damages, or those required by specific laws and regulations applying to general income.

Overtime work is paid at 1.5 times the hourly rate. There is no premium rate for night work, although the law does require that a night shift does not exceed eight hours in any period of 24 hours.

Work Contracts in Cyprus

Cyprus' Employment Contract Law covers every employee that works in Cyprus, unless their duration of employment will not exceed one month or eight hours of work per week.

Every basic contract will include:

  • The place of work.
  • The employee's duties, grade or category of work, and general content and object of his work.
  • The starting date of the contract and probable duration, in the case of employment on a fixed term.
  • The amount of annual paid leave allowed by the employer, as well as the method and time in which it may be taken.
  • The probation period, if there is one.
  • Salary details, including time, frequency and amount to be expected.
  • The duration of daily or weekly work.
  • Mention of any collective agreements that may affect the terms of the employment.

You should receive a basic employment contract within one month of starting work. If the employer makes any changes in contract details or conditions, they need to inform you within one month at the latest from the date at which the changes takes place.

You will also need to provide all your basic information to your employer, including full name, sex, nationality, date of birth, address, employment start date,

Since you will be employed as an expat, and will need a visa and work permit application, as well as social security application. You should also check if your employer will be responsible for paying all associated fees, or if you will be in charge of fee payment. If these terms can be included in the employment contract, it would be better for legal purposes.

Beyond your initial contract, make sure your overtime hours and general weekly working hours are officially recorded so you will be entitled to the correct wages.

Termination of Employment in Cyprus

Cyprus has termination laws governing the notice you must be given before being fired from your job, and the period of notice changes depending on the length of your employment. If you have worked for 26 to 51 weeks, your employer is required to give you one week notice; 52 to 103 weeks, two weeks notice; 104 to 155 weeks, four weeks notice, and so on. Instead of a period of notice, an employer is also entitled to give you your wages for the expected period instead and send you home.

An employee must also give notice if he wishes to leave his job, with the minimum period of notice being 1 week for an employee with 26 to 51 weeks of previous employment, 2 weeks for 52 to 259 weeks of previous employment, and 3 weeks for 260 weeks or more of previous employment.

Your employer can only terminate you without notice if you are guilty of gross misconduct in your duties, a criminal offense, immoral behavior at work, or repeated and grave disregard for workplace rules.

As far as severance pay goes, or “redundancy payments” as they are known in Cyprus, an employee is entitled to different amounts based on previous length of employment.  However, redundancy payments only apply in cases of dismissal for economic reasons, not for reasons relating to the employee's conduct or capacity. Redundancy payment calculations are as follows:

  • Employed 1-4 years: 2 weeks' wages for each year of employment
  • Employed 4-10 years: 2.5 weeks' wages for each period of employment.
  • Employed 10-15 years: 3 weeks' wages for each year of employment.
  • Employed 15-20 years: 3.5 weeks' wages for each year of employment.
  • Employed 20-25 years: 4 weeks' wages for each year of employment.

Claiming Unlawful Termination in Cyprus

If you feel you have been terminated unlawfully after you have completed 26 weeks of continuous employment, you are entitled to compensation for unlawful dismissal, as long as you have not reached a pensionable age (65 in Cyprus).

The Labour Disputes Court will decide on the amount of compensation, but if the court awards you, the amount must at least be equal to the amount of redundancy payments you would have been entitled to, and not be more than two years of wages.

You are only eligible for compensation if you were terminated due to the employer's issues, and not your own conduct, and also if you were forced to leave your work because of your employer's conduct.

Time Off in Cyprus

All employees in Cyprus are entitled to paid annual leave of four weeks, which amounts to 20 working days if you are on a 5-day working week schedule, or 24 working days if you are on a 6-day working week schedule.  The right to annual leave kicks in after the completion of six months of employment with the same employer.

The minimum amount of annual leave is standard among all Cypriot industries, and may be longer depending on your employer.

If you are sick, you are also entitled to sick leave. If the illness keeps you out of your job for more than three days, you must produce a medical note to your employer.

If you become pregnant, you are entitled to 18 weeks of maternity leave, and the father is entitled to 13 weeks of paternity leave to help care for the child. The law protects mothers against dismissal and prejudice due to maternity leave, as well as leaves of absence for pre-natal exams and issues related to the health and safety of the pregnant woman and child.

Public Holidays in Cyprus

Public holidays in Cyprus are provided to all part-time and full-time employees, and count as paid days off in addition to the paid annual leave employees are entitled to by law. If you must work on a public holiday, you are entitled to double your normal wages for every hour worked.

Most industries will give workers time off on these days, including retail stores. Some tourist service businesses may not be closed, as the tourism industry is a big part of the Cypriot economy, but employees required to work on those days will receive double wages.

As the predominant religion in Cyprus is Greek Orthodox, days off for Easter follow the Greek Orthodox Easter schedule rather than the Catholic Easter.

Update 18/03/2017


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